There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. --Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species
What would happen if teachers in a public school classroom notified students of a book in the school library that offered scientific challenges to Darwin's theory of evolution? Call it The Book, and assume it gave a fair portrayal of evolution by natural selection but, in addition to clearly outlining Darwin's thoughts on the matter, also identified specific challenges to Darwinism. What if The Book raised the prospect of gaps in evolutionary theory for which there is no evidence? Even worse, what if The Book contrasted the ideas of Darwinism with that of creationists, clearly focusing on the diametrically opposite religious implications of the evidence? Would such notification by teachers be legal in the United States?
Two years ago this month, in a courtroom shared with Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson, a federal judge in Dover, Pennsylvania made minor history with major histrionics by ruling that a similar notification by teachers in a public high school was an establishment of religion by the government. Establishing a religion in the United States is easy, of course, when "religion" equals "any hint of Christianity" and anything remotely "biblical" is suspect by default. But in this case the establishment was even more egregious; it seems the offending book in question, and the notification to the students, crossed all constitutional limits by mentioning the two words that set Darwinists and the differently religious into a delirium: intelligent design.
Intelligent Design! The complainers in the Dover case feigned outrage over intelligent design even being mentioned because, in the words of one plaintiff, "it forces their children to confront challenges to their religious beliefs at school." Poor children. Fortunately for them, however, the good judge in Dover, being steeped in "Christianity equals religion" and "everything non-Christian is religiously neutral" ran to their side. Displaying little patience with the local school board's establishment of Anything-Friendly-to-Christianity, the judge set out with all his heart, soul, and strength to protect the plaintiff's tender religious beliefs instead. Reveling in the high-profile monkey-trial media circus, he clearly salivated at the chance to bash a few misguided school board members for their "breathtaking inanity". Being the scientific expert he is, perhaps along with the eye itself this supreme authority of science might next venture to explain how beams evolved in one eye and splinters in others.
Judge John E. Jones III, the disciple whom Darwin loves, has become the latest beloved of atheists everywhere who heralded his 139-pages of largely plagiarized wisdom as reason to rest, once and for all, calmly on Darwin's breast. After all, why bother defending a theory when one can coax a federal judge to decree one scientific idea (Darwinism) that supports a favored religious view (naturalism) acceptable against another scientific idea (intelligent design) that supports a disfavored view (theism)? But making white lab coats subservient to black law robes is the business of scientific cowards--mainstream origins science has become sadly dependent upon federally protected and subsidized truth. But science-by-robed-decree, whether by Papal Bull or judicial bunk, is rarely sustainable against contrary evidence. And no more evidence than the Dover trial is needed to show that defending evolution is more about religion than science.
Not only did Judge Jones ban the words "intelligent design" from the biology classroom, but he went so far as to make it a violation of the United States Constitution to make students read anything that disparages Darwinism. Our Founding Fathers would be rightly distressed to see such petty mishandling of their noble document. But Jones's circle of federal marshals protecting Darwinism from criticism may yet find a greater challenge. Jones's religiously motivated reasoning is beautifully misguided because while focusing on one book in the school's library, the ACLU-led inquisition totally overlooked another: The Book.
The Book details Darwinism with great precision but treats it as a scientific theory open to challenges, including an insistence that a conclusion that all species descended from other species be supported by a showing of exactly "how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation which justly excites our admiration." Thus, The Book sets out a challenge for Darwinism to show, for example, how massive amounts of non-material information could self-assemble in increasingly complex DNA molecules by natural processes alone. To date Darwinism has no demonstrable naturalistic explanation for such self assembly, and no natural mechanisms can even theoretically do the job. The Book rightly points out that until such mechanisms can be identified, Darwin's theory can be legitimately challenged.
Among The Book's greatest attributes is its frank recognition that Darwin's theory is fairly challenged by theories of those who "believe that each being has been created as we now see it." Although such a notion is not exactly what intelligent design theorists believe (most non-materialist theories allow for changed over time from original forms), the fact that The Book speaks of such a theory as a legitimate scientific challenger to Darwinism is noteworthy. In fact, The Book speaks deferentially of creationist theories, embracing thoughts of a Creator with respectful toleration. Fortunately Judge Jones is, like most Darwinists, ignorant of The Book, or else it might become unconstitutional in public schools as well.
The Book makes its strongest case against evolution by pointing out that, among the "crowd of difficulties" with Darwinism, the foremost difficulty is that the fossil record does not support Darwin's theory of gradual descent with modification. The Book asks the common sense question: "why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?" There are no unambiguous transitional forms, and few purported forms in a fossil record that should be teeming with millions upon millions of such creatures. Such knowledge is common among educated scientists, but most Darwinists treat speaking such truth as tantamount to being a knuckle-dragging, redneck creationist. Atheists in Ohio, for example, last year forced out a state science standard instructing students on the current state of the fossil record, ostensibly because letting high school students in on the "trade secret" of paleontologists establishes another government church in the classroom (in competition with their church of naturalism). But the trade secret, as arch-evolutionist Stephen J. Gould announced, remains--the fossil record does not support Darwinian gradualism. And The Book agrees.
Related to the lack of support in the fossil record for Darwin's descent with modification, The Book draws attention to the growing line of evidence that the geological record likewise contradicts Darwinism. The Book details what no public high school students will learn--that several cases are on record of the same species presenting varieties in the upper and lower parts of the same geological formation. Creationist scientists, for example, have long documented such "anomalies" in places like the Grand Canyon. Even worse for Darwin's theory, the real problem with the geological record (as The Book notes), is the sudden appearance of whole groups of species in certain formations. Put forth as a "serious difficulty" for Darwinism, The Book accurately records how species of several main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferious rocks, particularly the Cambrian. The entire absence of fossils beneath the Cambrian strata, The Book notes, is one reason that many eminent paleontologists such as Cuvier, Agassiz, Barrande, Pictet, Falconer, E. Forbes, etc., and all the greatest geologists, such as Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick, etc., have "unanimously, often vehemently, maintained the immutability of species." The Book is a good book.
Like most books on Darwinism, The Book gratuitously states there is "no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one." And if The Book were more widely read and its scientific principles more widely followed, few "religious" feelings would be touched at all, much less shocked. But here science gets interesting, because it seems there is remarkable irony in The Book's view of "religious feelings". For like the plaintiffs in Dover and the atheists in Ohio, it is today's devotees of naturalism whose religious feelings are shocked by any opposition to Darwinism, including the very challenges expressed in The Book. If Darwinists were honestly consistent they would attack The Book with great vigor. But fortunately most Darwinists, atheists, and materialists are unaware of The Book's content.
What is The Book that Darwinists don't yet know they hate? None other than Charles Darwin's own On the Origin of Species.
What wonderful, wonderful evidence of current Darwinism's scientific bankruptcy. Charles Darwin himself would be run out of Dover, Pennsylvania. Teachers in Ohio who dare teach straight out of his On the Origin of Species would be charged with a "violation of church and state", and likely fired. Professors in Iowa and Texas who freely profess to follow the evidence of design as a challenge to Darwinism face tenure denial. And one good scientist in Massachusetts who refused to take a religious oath to Darwinism was simply fired. All because Darwin, the honest scientist, has been replaced by Darwinists, fear mongering religionists who cook up religious motivation in every scientific challenge to Darwinism.
Poor Darwin. Like Christ removed from Christmas, Darwin has been removed from Darwinism. His spirit of religiosity lives, but his practice of science is dead. Icons have little hope of survival when their own fail to render honor.
Roddy Bullock, JD, BSME, is the Executive Director of the Intelligent Design Network of Ohio (www.idnetohio.com) and is the author of The Cave Painting: A Parable of Science, published by Access Research Network. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) 2007 Roddy M. Bullock, all rights reserved. Quotes and links permitted with attribution.
For more "icons of evolution", see Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth: Why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong (Washington D.C.: Regnery, 2002), p. 7. http://www.amazon.com/Icons-Evolution-Science-Teach-About/dp/0895262002/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197690273&sr=1-2
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species,
Quoted language and cited concepts found at pages 2, 63, 133, 143, 144, 146, 150, 275, 286, 416, 422, 428, 430.
"Trade secret" quote from Stephen J. Gould, The Panda's Thumb, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1980), p. 181. Gould states:
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record: ". . . He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory."